Sunshine Edition
6:30 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Beckham Stadium Sparks Debate From PortMiami Protectors

A rendering of the interior bowl of the proposed soccer stadium at PortMiami.
A rendering of the interior bowl of the proposed soccer stadium at PortMiami.
Credit ARQUITECTONICA, 360 ARCHITECTURE AND VISUAL HOUSE

The gloves came off Wednesday morning in a debate on whether the Beckham soccer stadium should be built at PortMiami. One takeaway was just how complicated this issue has become.

With ads against the stadium filling the airwaves; it seems as though getting the port location won't be as simple as Beckham and his team originally anticipated. 

The ads, along with other opposition, come from the Miami Seaport Alliance. The alliance is a group of companies that believe the stadium will interfere with their business.

Head of the alliance is John Fox, a former VP of Royal Caribbean. He and David Beckham’s people faced off in a public forum.

Representing Miami-Beckham United was Neisen Kasdin. 

"I think David Beckham is immensely popular in Miami as well as the world. I think even amongst people who are opposed to the stadium, they want to see David Beckham here because they think it’ll be great for Miami," said Kasdin. "David Beckham has a particular vision for how this will work and work well. And that includes a sight that is in or near downtown and the water."

But the idea of a stadium at the port doesn’t appeal to everyone.  Fox doesn't think that Miami needs Beckham's stadium.

"David Beckham is hot, he's sexy, he's an icon, he's a brand. Everybody in the community gets that. But they're sort of building him up to be this person that's going to save our community. We've been here 125 years. We have all kinds of icons in this community," said Fox.

Another concern is reliving the Marlin’s Park fiasco.

"There's definitely a sour taste in the community's mouth  because of the Marlin's Park. It seems like sports team owners are constantly coming to the public asking for favors," said the debate's moderator Sean Foremen. 

So far the Miami Seaport Alliance hasn’t suggested an alternative location for the stadium. Meanwhile, the Beckham group continues to work with the County Commission in securing the Port location.